Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sue's Reviews

It's been a while since I've been to the movies--so long in fact that I've missed both Shrek 3 and Pirates 3. I heard Shrek wasn't so great, but I'm really bummed that I missed Pirates. This week, however, I've been to the movies twice, so I think I made up for it.

In order to thank Joe and Judy for helping me paint our guest room, Michael and I took them to see Hairspray on Sunday. I was kind of lukewarm about seeing it, having no previous ties to either the first movie or the musical, but I really did want to see John Travolta and Christopher Walken sing and dance a duet.

Hairspray was better than I thought! Yes, Michael stayed awake for the whole thing, which is an indication it was pretty good. The music was real upbeat and fun and the acting was good. I had heard that Travolta was "the weak link" and didn't get the joke, but I thought he was pretty decent, really. Joe declared it the best movie of summer. I definitely wouldn't go that far, but it was happy and fun.

Hairspray centers around Tracy Turnblad, a chubby girl growing up in 1960's Baltimore who dreams of dancing on the Corny Collins Show, an American Bandstand type program on local TV. Her nemesis is the show's producer, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, and her daughter Amber, played by American Dreams star Brittany Snow. She gains acceptance after learning dance moves from the black kids who star on the show's "Negro Day" and goes on to force the show into being integrated.

The movie was real cute and visually stunning. I love the early 60's thing with the fun colors and shapes and the clothes, all the sweet innocence before the turbulence of the latter part of the decade. The acting and singing were great, Queen Latifah turned in another excellent performace (which really adds fuel to the fire of my rage when she does a piece of crap like "Bringing Down the House").

I found myself thinking about race relations in America, and I suppose what I'm about to say is a bit un-PC, but what the hell. I was thinking that maybe if we didn't have "blacks vs. whites, race race race rage" shoved down our throats all the time, it'd be over. I mean, that seems to be one of the favorite topics of movies, songs, books. Maybe if we just started living like it didn't matter, then it wouldn't matter. Maybe all these books, movies, etc. just keep picking at the wound instead of letting it heal.

Ok, "Deep Thoughts by Sus Kosior" over and done. :-) Anyway, I give it a B+. Fun and good, but not my favorite movie and probably not one I'll see again or must own. Judy's got the soundtrack, which I may burn to my iPod--no doubt she has it memorized already--and I think that's as far as it'll go So, well done, good summer flick, thanks for the memories.

The other movie I saw was Sicko, which I saw tonight.

In case you've been living under a rock, Sicko is Michael Moore's new documentary about the health care system in the United States. As taken from Moore's website, the synopsis reads:

Opening with profiles of several ordinary Americans whose lives have been disrupted, shattered, and—in some cases—ended by health care catastrophe, the film makes clear that the crisis doesn't only affect the 47 million uninsured citizens—millions of others who dutifully pay their premiums often get strangled by bureaucratic red tape as well.

After detailing just how the system got into such a mess (the short answer: profits and Nixon), we are whisked around the world, visiting countries including Canada, Great Britain and France, where all citizens receive free medical benefits. Finally, Moore gathers a group of 9/11 heroes – rescue workers now suffering from debilitating illnesses who have been denied medical attention in the US. He takes them to a most unexpected place, and in addition to finally receiving care, they also engage in some unexpected diplomacy.

Ok, I'm going to fess up right here, right now. I cried on and off through the first hour of this film. For the last hour, I was downright sobbing non-stop through the whole entire movie. I cried the entire drive home. The movie ended at 9:43pm, it is now 10:31, and I'm still blowing my nose.

First of all, after what I saw, I'm ready to hop on a goddamned boat to Cuba. I'm ready to move to Canada, France, or Britain. I knew going into it, the health care system here was not perfect. Believe me, just my little experience last year taught me all I needed to know about that, and I have good insurance. But what I saw tonight was ludicrous. People dying, babies dying, people put in cabs and driven away from hospitals, people losing their homes, people forced to make decisions that I don't know how I would choose. The part with the 9/11 workers in Cuba was probably the most moving piece of film I've seen in my entire life.

I highly encourage you to do what you can to convince our lawmakers it's time to fix our broken system. It's a national tragedy, as large as the tragedy in Iraq. Any member of our political system who accepts money from drug or insurance companies has the blood of American citizens on their hands.

Go see Sicko. As much as I loved Fahrenheit 9/11, Sicko was better. A+++ And I'm wishing all of you good health, because God help us if some twist of fate renders us injured or diseased.

1 pearl(s) of wisdom:

Talmadge G. said...

1) HEALTH CARE: As long as the insurance companies, medical cartel and wealthy have it their way, we'll continue our shameful system as it is. Have insurance? Count your blessings.

I can't help but laugh out loud at people who cry out "socialized medicine!" Uh huh ... what about "socialized fire protection" ... "socialized police" .... the list goes on. Is Canada's system perfect? Hardly. Are there problems? Of course. Would I take it over our system? Damn skippy.

"Long wait times" = you have that in the U.S., too. When's the last time you saw your doctor at your appointed time? Waiting room = 30 minutes, and then when you're called back, it's often ANOTHER 20-ish minute (if not longer) wait in the exam room before you so much as see the doctor. Said doctor is always rushed, and I find it curious how often an "emergency" will further stall the doctor from seeing you. Yeah. Sure.

The few anecdotes you hear from Canada are usually from upper-class swine who don't like getting into the same line as 'common' people (perhaps the biggest reason a universal-care system will face big hurdles here) ... they'll pay out of pocket by skipping to the U.S., where they'll get gold-plated care.

God bless America - where health care is a privilege only for the elite.

2) RACE RELATIONS: Here's the ugly secret, you heard it here first -- the reason "race race race" is beat to death is a beautifully-orchestrated game of divide and conquer. It's especially prevalent in the Deep South states (Alabama, anyone?), where the rich and powerful have played race like a Stradivarius. Certain "black leaders" - all of them very wealthy themselves - pretend to "advocate" for the blacks, often in an abrasive manner. And, as if by cue, certain white figureheads start rabblerousing, rednecks begin bitching, and they blame the blacks for all their problems ... result: many of them vote GOP, against their own financial interests. Give 'em just enough grist for the anger mill ... enough to get 'em to do the aristocrats' bidding, but certainly not enough to raise their own boats.

I learned one thing from living in Troy, Alabama for 10 years: the white people are, in most cases, even worse than the black people.

And here's the ugly fear - there are more middle class white and black people than there are rich people (ever notice this statistic only gets trotted out whenever soem brave politician proposes raising top tax rates?). The day Mr. Black Citizen turns to Mr. White Citizen and says "You're not the problem." Mr. White replies to Mr. Black, "And you're not the problem, either." Both point their fingers at the wealthy/ruling class and say, "YOU are!!" -- the day that happens, the game is over. We'll have true harmony.

Dream on.